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Clinical Trial
, 281 (5383), 1640-5

Distinct Mechanism for Antidepressant Activity by Blockade of Central Substance P Receptors

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Clinical Trial

Distinct Mechanism for Antidepressant Activity by Blockade of Central Substance P Receptors

M S Kramer et al. Science.

Abstract

The localization of substance P in brain regions that coordinate stress responses and receive convergent monoaminergic innervation suggested that substance P antagonists might have psychotherapeutic properties. Like clinically used antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs, substance P antagonists suppressed isolation-induced vocalizations in guinea pigs. In a placebo-controlled trial in patients with moderate to severe major depression, robust antidepressant effects of the substance P antagonist MK-869 were consistently observed. In preclinical studies, substance P antagonists did not interact with monoamine systems in the manner seen with established antidepressant drugs. These findings suggest that substance P may play an important role in psychiatric disorders.

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